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Latin America: Rising Death Toll in Mexico's Drug War Signals Imminent Victory, Attorney General Claims

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #538)
Consequences of Prohibition
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

As of last Friday, the death toll in the prohibition-related violence wracking Mexico this year had climbed to 1,378, up sharply from the 940 dead at this time last year, Mexican Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora reported. Since then, that number has gone even higher, with killing continuing on a daily basis. Among the dead this week, seven police officers were killed in Culiacán when they raided a house belonging to the Sinaloa Cartel.

Shrine to San Malverde, patron saint of the narcos (and others), Culiacán -- plaque thanking God, the Virgin of Guadalupe, and San Malverde for keeping the roads cleans -- from ''the indigenous people from Angostura to Arizona'' (photo by Chronicle editor Phil Smith)
More than 4,150 people, including at least 450 police and soldiers, have been killed in Mexico's drug wars since President Felipe Calderón unleashed the army against drug traffickers at the beginning of 2007, Medina Mora said. Currently, some 30,000 troops are deployed in border cities, Culiacán and Acapulco, and other drug war hot spots.

This month, at least six high-ranking police officials, including the police chief in Ciudad Juárez and the acting commander of the Federal Preventive Police have been assassinated, presumably at the hands of cartel gunmen. Others have fled to the US.

But for Medina Mora, the rising tide of blood is a sign the government's offensive is working. Recent arrests and seizures have created a power vacuum, and different cartel factions are vying for turf, he argued. "Evidently when they are cornered and weakened, they have to respond with violence," Medina Mora said.

The US government apparently doesn't agree. The Congress is currently considering a three-year, $1.4 billion anti-drug assistance program for Mexico aimed at defeating the cartels. And neither, apparently, does Medina Mora's own government. It announced this week that it will deploy the military against the cartels for at least another two years.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

So if we're giving them $1.4 billion, I guess that means that about $140 will actually make it to fighting the drug war. The rest will line Mexican politicians', judges, military, and police pockets.

Until Mexico's uber-corrupt government goes down, we might as well just burn that money. Aw hell, even if Mexico was full of John Ashcroft wannabes, we'd still be pissing our money down a hole.

Another great use of my tax dollars.

Fri, 05/30/2008 - 5:15pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

why are we even considering to continue this war on drugs. i think we should put our money where we needed most. ... that would be our middle class. oh i think we should be fighting the war on rising gas prices. lol!!! to me that is more of a problem than some hippies getting high on the streets of america. by the way small quantaties of marijuana are being dicriminilized in some states........(makes you think what is the real goal here!!) Personally i would move for legalization....... control it like alcohol or tobacco.

Sat, 05/31/2008 - 12:02pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I'd bet a dollar to a donut that they are killing regular mexican citizens because they WANT OUR MONEY put in their pockets!!! These people have no morals and no compassion! They leave their fricken kids in foreign countries to use as extortion against US. Make mexico straigten up and start honoring human rights or let them melt down in their own corrupt juices....and THEN Americans can begin to take back our country!!! You know it HAS to be the drug cartels giving these illegals the money to smuggle them into our country don't you???

Sat, 05/31/2008 - 8:50pm Permalink

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